Scaramanga lives rather well in the film of The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), enjoying as he does an island hideaway, a private funhouse, an (almost) impeccable wine-cellar, and the services of a Cordon Bleu-trained chef, who is of course his faithful manservant, Nick Nack. Among Nick Nack’s creations is fried mushrooms, which Mary Goodnight, making stilted small-talk during lunch with Scaramanga and James Bond, says look ‘terribly interesting’.
How would a gourmet chef such as Nick Nack fry mushrooms? Possibly something like the recipe below, which is inspired by one in Louis Diat’s 1961 book, Gourmet’s Basic French Cookbook.
- 275g sliced mushrooms
- Large knob of butter
- 1 tsp truffle oil (optional)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped shallots or onion
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp finely chopped herbs (eg parsley, tarragon or thyme)
Put the mushrooms – I happened to use closed-cup, chestnut and baby button varieties – without fat in a large frying pan, and over a high heat stir-fry the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes until they’re more or less cooked. Tip them into a bowl and allow them to stand.
Place the pan back on the heat and add the butter and oil. When the butter is sizzling, add the onion and garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile, strain the mushrooms – the initial cooking will have released a fair amount of liquid – then, once the onion has softened, return the mushrooms to the pan and sauté them for another minute or so.
Take the pan off the heat, sprinkle the herbs over the mushrooms, and serve.